Trade minister says government cannot accept pro-EU rebel plan on trade law


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government cannot accept a plan put forward by pro-European Union rebels in parliament that could see Britain stay in the bloc’s customs union, junior trade minister George Hollingbery told parliament.

Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May prepares to speak at the Farnborough Airshow, in Farnborough, Britain July 16, 2018. Matt Cardy/Pool via REUTERS

“It is the policy of the government that we should not remain part of a customs union that is why we cannot accept the amendment today. Clearly we would not be able to implement any independent free-trade deals,” Hollingbery said during a debate on post-Brexit trade laws.

The government offered to try to reach a compromise when the bill is debated in the upper chamber of parliament. The rebels rejected that and urged the government to instead accept their amendment and then discuss a compromise in the upper chamber.

Reporting By William James, editing by Andrew MacAskill

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